Saturday, 31 January 2009

I couldn't sleep after you'd gone. One night. Two nights. At 5.00am on the third morning as insomnia daubed its black pitch across my soul, I decided to take our mattress and duvet to the skip.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

often when i have broken up, the pain and restlessness brings on a lengthy bout of drawing and painting with an intensity that would be nice to experience when the heart is whole.
once when things were quite dire and i was at a loss to understand my role and the suddenness of the split, i did cartoons/comic strips of all my dismal thoughts: standing naked in front of the mirror questioning my low self-esteem or my skinny body; suicide in the bath; and countless cruel depictions of all his shortcomings and those of men in general. drawing blood and wounds was healing in itself. i still have the drawings; they are humorous and poignant. it is possible to lay them out and see my gradual return to the world and enjoy the details of the house that many of them were drawn in.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Far too much buttered toast, followed by far too many stomach crunches.

Monday, 26 January 2009

1) I listened to the holiday mix CD you made on repeat for months. Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer" still makes me a bit emotional.
2) I got so drunk on coffee martinis that I turned up disoriented at my sister's at 4am. When I woke I'd being crying and being sick so much that I felt strangely calm and purged - except that my coat was covered in vomit!
3) I'd wake up in the middle of the night and smoke numerous cigarettes out of the window wondering why you'd stopped us.
4) I went out and fucked the first person I could, and in the morning I didn't want to leave her, not because she was anything special, in fact I didn't even recall her name, but because I was missing affection so much.
5) I was desperate to get you back in my life I invited you to move into my bedroom when you wanted to live in London, even though we weren't together. We lived in my hutch-like room for months until inevitably another room came up and you left - I was trying to control you.
6) I read your blog every day and told you I was cyber-stalking you. Only when you rejected my suggestion for Facebook friendship and my pals sat me down and told me my behaviour had got out of hand did I rein it in. I haven't read your blog since that day and consider this a major achievement of 2008.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

It is six months since I've seen you and I've finally stopped clocking the minutes like taxi fares.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

I ate every bite of a candlelit dinner intended for you by myself.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

I cried.
I slept with every single person you knew who would let me.
I told everyone I was going to Berlin for the weekend and went to Sarajevo for a month. And turned my phone off.
I bought a dog. And named her Penny.
I played sad songs and happy songs. I played all the songs i had as loud as i could.
I made up lies about you and repeated them to myself over and over again. I revealed your secrets to anyone who would listen and repeated them over and over again.

I moved city. Got a new job. Met new people. And told no one about you. I created a new history for myself, forgetting those stories that were from our past- which was all my past. I shortened my name, lengthened my hair and changed my fag brand. I forgot that I had been to cities in which we spent time. Went to all those places with someone new and feigned a sense of discovery.

The new you. She had the same name. I didn't even notice for quite some time. It had to be pointed out to me. You didn't exist in the front of my mind any more. After a while I realised that in my head, my memories, my stories that I didn't tell anymore- in those things, locked away, I had replaced your face with hers. We didn't share a past any more. Those jokes belonged to someone else, those times had been confiscated from you and given to her. But whenever I said her name it was really yours that I was saying. The familiarity of that name older than possible with her. It is your name.
And nothing i have done makes any difference to that.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

On different occasions, different yous.

1. I avoided country music for six months.

2. I stood in every room in my house in turn, looking at everything in the room, waiting for the new memories to replace the memories in which I was experiencing the room with her. It took three days to do.

3. I repainted the back room that she had insisted we paint lilac and I listened to The Fall as I did it, which she had banned from the house.

Monday, 19 January 2009

I reclaimed the centre of the bed, read William Boyd, recycled all the vintage wine bottles I'd saved from our nights together, wrote you a really evil email, invited a sex-addicted ex to lunch, went to a hypnotist, cried very hard once and promised never to cry again. Then I did a lot of yoga and pilates and wheatgrass and started fancying other people.

Friday, 16 January 2009

I didn't leave my flat and drank 584 cups of tea.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

What an interesting proposition. I should like to tell you not of something I've done alone, but something I did with my father after my mother died last year. A physicist by training and a retired engineer by profession, he decided that it was about time he built a petrol combustion engine from scratch. My mum died last October, and never one to dwell on sad things, my old man went out and almost immediately bought himself a 1960s 1000cc Ford Cosworth engine from Autotrader as an early Christmas present. It arrived in the guts of an old formula junior car, which we scrapped, having taken this (working) engine out. Over the next few months, each weekend we'd carefully pull the thing apart, clean all the pieces, and lay them out. We then put it back together, piece by piece, a process which took about another two months. In May, we tried to start the thing and it didn't work, so we started from scratch again, taking it apart, cleaning all the pieces, and (in July) putting it back together a second time (by this time, I'm afraid I'd lost interest in the project, but he valiantly continued). Again, second time around, the engine wouldn't start. In August, he took it apart for a third time, before putting it back together again, and at the beginning of October, he tried to get it going for a final time. No luck. So, a year on from mum's passing away, he went out, hired a JCB from the local Fork Rent, dug a massive hole in our back garden, and buried the engine.

I figure that's a pretty effective way of getting over someone.